Super Troopers 2
Updated: Feb 6
Sequels are a tricky business. If they include too many references to the first film, they alienate potential new viewers. But if they change too much, they risk angering their existing fan base. However, some do not really care about bringing in new viewers. They are far more focused on serving the people that supported them. Super Troopers 2 is that kind of sequel.
The first Super Troopers, which was released in 2001, is a goofy comedy about a group of Vermont State Troopers who mess around and pull juvenile pranks on the unlucky drivers they pull over. It became a beloved cult hit on DVD, launching the careers of its writers/stars, a comedy troupe called Broken Lizard. Eventually, with help from crowd funding, they were able to make a second one.
Super Troopers 2 (92 minutes plus outtakes and a post-credits scene) has more or less the same plot as the original (except it takes place predominantly in Canada for silly story reasons) and revisits many of the most popular gags. It brings back the entire main cast, while also introducing plenty of characters to add to the wacky shenanigans. The tone and sense of humor are both retained.
Super Troopers succeeded because of the crude but oddly endearing comedic style of Broken Lizard. Additionally, despite the fact that there is not a lot of depth in the movie, they created unique characters and actually played them instead of just using them for the jokes. A large portion of the humor came out of the personalities. The same is true here, though they fail to add any new layers to the gang. After it is all over, anything we know about Thorny, Mac, Foster, Rabbit and Farva was introduced last time.
The biggest change from film to film is the significantly beefed up role for Kevin Heffernan’s fan favorite Rod Farva. This was certainly expected. If you happen to hear someone quoting the original, there is a very high likelihood it is one of his lines. How much you like Super Troopers 2 may depend on how much you enjoy Farva’s obnoxiously vulgar antics. I find him to be really funny and even I got a little tired of him by the end. His childlike enthusiasm and total unselfconsciousness are still amusing, but it seems to be diminishing returns. More is not necessarily better. If they are planning on making a third, perhaps they should trim his screen time down a tad.
The Broken Lizard guys surround themselves with an overall stronger supporting cast. Brian Cox reprises his role as their captain. Unfortunately, he does not get any particularly good lines here. Tyler Labine, Will Sasso and Hayes MacArthur join the silliness as the Mounties the troopers are preparing to replace. They are pretty consistently funny. Emmanuelle Chriqui is essentially just a bland plot device as a potential love interest. Finally, Rob Lowe appears to be having a whole lot of fun as the Canadian town’s mayor. He has a few entertaining moments, but disappears from the story for too long.
Basically, if you disliked the original Super Troopers, do not see this one. If you watched the trailer and thought it looked dumb, you will probably find the movie to be equally dumb. But, if you are already a fan, well, you have been getting ready for the sequel since it was announced. While a step below its predecessor, Super Troopers 2 definitely has its charms. I think it will largely please devotees. Besides, non-fans will likely avoid it. As someone who counts himself among the former, let me say it is nice to see these misfits, and their moustaches, back on the big screen. Even if it is a little too much of a rehash of their first go-round.
3¼ out of 5
Kevin Heffernan as Farva
Jay Chandrasekhar as Thorny
Erik Stolhanske as Rabbit
Steve Lemme as Mac
Paul Soter as Foster
Brian Cox as Captain O’Hagan
Will Sasso as Mountie Archambault
Tyler Labine as Mountie Bellefuille
Hayes MacArthur as Mountie Podien
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Genevieve Aubois
Rob Lowe as Guy LeFranc
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar
Written by Broken Lizard (Chanrasekhar, Heffernan, Lemme, Soter and Stolhanske)